Watch and Pray

​By: Keila Ochoa

Mark 14:32–42

Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. Mark 14:38

From my window I can see a 1,700-meter hill called the Cerro del Borrego or “Hill of the Sheep.” In 1862, the French army invaded Mexico. While the enemy camped in the central park of Orizaba, the Mexican army established its position at the top of the hill. However, the Mexican general neglected to guard access to the top. While the Mexican troops were sleeping, the French attacked and killed 2,000 of them.

This reminds me of another hill, the Mount of Olives, and the garden at its foot where a group of disciples fell asleep. Jesus rebuked them, saying, “Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak” (Mark 14:38).

How easy it is to sleep or become careless in our Christian walk. Temptation strikes when we are most vulnerable. When we neglect certain areas of our spiritual lives—such as prayer and Bible study—we become drowsy and let our guard down, making us easy targets for our enemy, Satan, to strike (1 Peter 5:8).

We need to be alert to the possibilities of an attack and pray to maintain vigilance. If we remain watchful and pray—for ourselves and for others—the Spirit will enable us to resist temptation.

Lord Jesus, I know my spirit is willing, but my body is weak. Help me to watch and pray today for myself and for others.

Satan is powerless against the power of Christ.

The garden of Gethsemane was the starting point of the sufferings of Christ, and it could not have been more appropriately named. In Aramaic, the wordGethsemane means “olive press.” In olive tree orchards, it was normal to have a press where the harvested olives would be placed so that a heavy stone could be rolled over them—crushing the olives and removing the valuable oil from the fruit. That imagery precisely describes what Christ would undergo in His own “olive press.” Imagine the sinless Son loaded down with the weight of all the sins of the entire world from all the ages!

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